Archive for category Birds

Macaw Parrots as Pets

Macaw parrots are considered as the most beautiful, colorful and charming parrots. Although, they are playful, talkative, intelligent, and flamboyant, however they also have a few bad qualities. They are destructive, strident and noisy birds, and often shriek so vociferously that it becomes very difficult to tolerate it.

Macaw parrots are originated from Central America, South America, Caribbean islands, and Sumatra Island in Indonesia. There are over 18 different species of Macaw parrots in the whole world. Some of them are quite easy to adapt, whereas others are known for teasing their owners, and are also very demanding parrots.

All the species of Macaw parrots have their own unique characteristics and qualities. Some of these are as follows:

Red and Scarlet Macaws are among the world’s top ten beautiful birds. Buffon’s are the heaviest Macaw parrots. Hyacinth Macaw is the largest parrot among all species of Macaw parrots. Gold and Blue Macaws are extremely popular because of their beauty. The Yellow and Blue Macaws are easy to adapt and are very playful birds, whereas Red Fronted Macaws with a Red Crown are the cutest and friendly. Severe Macaws, the smallest parrots among Macaw species, are also the most uncommon.

Unlike other parrot breeds, Macaw parrots demand more love, care, attention, and proper handling. If they are ignored for long time, they might behave very aggressively and violently, and can even bite their owners. Hence, it is very important to keep these lovely parrots engaged in playfulness through toys, acrobatic ropes, swings, and right food. Depending upon environment and food, these parrots can live from 25 to 80 years. Therefore, it is best to know all about Macaw parrots before getting one as a pet.

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Parrot Guide for Beginners

Like any other pet animal, parrots also need proper care in order to lead a healthy and happy life. Once you have selected the parrot that you want, it is necessary to have a proper cage for your new pet. Although, some people let their parrot fly freely around their house and do not keep them in a cage, however this is not the best way to keep your feathered pet.

Choose the appropriate size of the cage as cage size is important to ensure that your parrot has enough space to move around. Preferably, opt for the biggest cage you can afford because the bigger the better. Your parrot will be happier if it has enough space to move, fly, and hop around in the cage.

Following are a few minimum cage sizes for popular parrots.

Cockatiels: 22 in. height x 17 in. width, having bar spacing of 0.5 in. to 5/8 in.

Conures: 22 in. height x 22 in. width, having bar spacing of 5/8 in. to ¾ in.

Yellow Amazons (Yellow Parrot): 32 in. height x 23 in. width, having bar spacing of ¾ in. to 1 in. with bar width of 4 mm

African Grey (African Parrot): 32 in. height x 23 in. width, having bar spacing of ¾ in. to 1 in. with bar width of 4 mm.

Macaw: 36 in. height x 24 in. width, having bar spacing of 1 in. with bar width of 5 mm.

Cockatoo: 36 in. height x 24 in. width, having bar spacing of 1 in. with bar width of 5 mm.

Basically, the cage is used to protect the parrot from other animals in your home and from common obstructions, such as flying into windows, in the home that could injure him. Ensure that the cage is well-built and is strong enough to withstand the expected falls. Moreover, parrots love to perch, therefore ensure that there is at least one perch in the cage.

A well designed cage will allow your parrot to have an easy access to drink and food. When it comes to drinking and eating, the parrot food is among the most vital elements of a parrot’s health. Lack of nutritious food can make your parrot suffer as it may become grouchy and may develop behavioral problems. For instance, self-mutilation such as feather picking often develops in a malnourished African Grey parrot. Therefore, it is necessary to understand and meet your parrots’ nutritional requirements. Also, ensure to change the water daily and never let the water container empty.

In their natural environment, parrots clean themselves whenever they feel dirty, however at home you need to bathe your parrot. Fortunately, many parrots enjoy taking baths and their owners simply put them in the shower every night so that they can enjoy themselves while taking bath. But, if your parrot does not like bathing then simply spray it with warm, clean water. Warm water is ideal as parrots are vulnerable to cold too. After bath, allow your parrot dry off in a warm, comfy place.

Since parrots love to play and socialize, therefore never forget to play with your parrot. You can even cuddle with your pet on a semi regular basis. This will make your pet feel warm, loved, and appreciated.

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Information about Conure Parrots

The Conure parrots are amazing little birds. Their beauty and intelligence make them great pets. They are not only playful but also are very social and active. They have high pitched voices. Also, since they are hardy birds, they rarely get sick.

Although both male and female Conure parrots make equally perfect pets, however a single Conure parrot tends to tame quickly and able to soon learn new tricks.

The origin of Conure parrots range from Mexico and Central America to the Caribbean Islands and South America. Depending on the breed, a life expectancy of these parrots range from 15 to 25 years.

Conure parrots come from a very wide and diverse group of parrots. However, there are a few characteristics that are common in all types of Conure parrots. They are as follows:

Size – Conure parrots come in different sizes. They can be small to medium sized parrots. Their sizes range from the largest (Patagonian Conure that is about 19 inches) to the tinted variety that is about 9 inches.

Shape – Conure parrots possess slim bodies with tapered graduated tails. A few types of Conures have short conical-shaped tails, while others have long, slender tails. These parrots have black or light horn-colored broad heavy beaks that have a quite broad cere at their base.

Nearly all Conure parrots have a visibly distinct eye ring, with the females usually having a fairly narrower ring as compared to the males.

Color – The colors in Conure parrots range from lush greens to bright yellow, reds and oranges, and into the whites and brown.

Song – Instead of a gentle chirp, Conure parrots have a harsh screech. Although for some of them, this may temper with time, or it can be tempered if they are provided with comfortable environment.

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Conure Parrots Types

The Conure parrots are marvelous birds that enjoy sharing their play. They are not only beautiful but also very intelligent. Although they are very social and active, however they are also easily domesticated. They enjoy learning new tricks. Many Conure parrots have the ability to learn a few words, though their voices are high pitched, which makes it difficult to understand what they are saying. These parrots are quite hardy and rarely get sick.

There are a large number of different types of Conure parrots that can be found in the pet industry. Some of these types, along with a few Conure species are as follows:

Aratinga Conures:

The genus Aratinga has many Conure parrots. The species and subspecies of this genus range from 15 to 21 and 55 to 57, respectively. Some of the Aratinga Conure species include:

Aztec Conure, Golden-Capped Conure, Peach-Fronted Conure, White-Eyed Conure, Nanday Conure, Sun Conure, Blue-Crown Conure, Mitred Conure, Dusky Conure, Red-Masked Conure, Jenday Conure, Half-Moon Conure (Orange-Fronted Conure), Queen of Bavaria Conure (Golden Conure).

Enicognathus Conures:

This genus has two species, and a few subspecies. A few of them are Slender-bill Conure, Astral Conure, and Chilean Conure.

Brotogeris Conures:

This genus has seven species and fifteen subspecies, including the Grey-cheeked Parakeet and the Canary-winged Parakeet. Often, the Brotogeris genus is included under Parakeets instead of Conures.

Pyrrhura Conures:

Pyrrhura genus has eighteen species and thirty-seven subspecies. Some of these species include Black-capped Conure, Souance Conure, Pearly Conure, and Green-cheeked Conure.

Cyanoliseus Conures:

This genus is quite popular, and has only one species with three subspecies, which is Patagonia Conure.

It is important to note that there are two endangered Conure species presently, i.e. the Queen of Bavaria or Golden Conure Aratinga Guarouba from northern Brazil and the Blue-throated Conure Pyrrhura Cruentata.

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Facts about Cockatiels

Cockatiels belong to the parrot group, and are mostly gray in color as both the male and female have gray bodies, feet and beaks. Adult male Cockatiels have solid yellow heads and black feathers on the base of their tails whereas adult female Cockatiels have comparatively grayish heads and barred yellow with black feathers on the base of their tails. However, a lot of different color mutations in Cockatiels are also found.

  • Basically, Cockatiels are originated from Australia, where atmosphere is rather dry. Therefore, in the wild, they fly in large flocks in quest of large water bodies so that they can rest, breed, and escape from the heat. Since Australia has banned the export of native birds, therefore the birds, available for sale in the pet stores, might be bred right in that country.
  • There are some breeders who hybridized the Cockatiel with the bird known as the galah, resulting in chicks that are unofficially named as “Galatiels”.
  • When buying a Cockatiel, it is best to opt for a Cockatiel chick that is about 8 weeks old. This will reduce the time period it takes to get it used to the new environment.
  • Cockatiels are the only genus of Cockatoo that can start breeding in their first year.
  • Like any other parrot, Cockatiels make great parents, especially fathers. The responsibilities of mother Cockatiels include hatching the eggs and caring for the newborn chicks whereas the male Cockatiels are responsible for protecting their family. In the wild, they even face much larger birds and predators in order to keep their family safe. Moreover, they are very loving with their young ones, and can perform parenting duties in case the mother Cockatiel was killed or injured.
  • Cockatiels are master in hiding their illness. Therefore, it is very important to research on the early symptoms of avian diseases so that their illness can be treated in its earlier stage.
  • These parrots can share their cage with the same gender Cockatiel. Hence, you can buy two male Cockatiels if you have no plans of breeding them.
  • When it comes to handling a Cockatiel, never place your hand over its head as this will frighten the bird and may make it think that it is being attacked.
  • Cockatiels are very friendly birds and always in need of a company. If they are left alone for the long time, they get dejected and may bang their heads against their cage, refuse to eat, or even become irritable and violent around owners. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a pair of cockatiels if you think you won’t be available most of the day.

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Lovebirds Information

Lovebirds are active, charming, attractive and very interesting birds. They belong to the genus Agapornis, which is made up of two words, Agapein and Ornis. Agapein is a Greek word, which means ‘to love’, whereas Ornis is a Latin word, which means ‘bird’.

Lovebirds come from the drier areas of Africa. Out of the 9 species of lovebirds, 8 are the native of Africa, whereas the ninth is the Grey-headed Lovebird that comes from the island of Madagascar. A number of lovebirds live close to the equator where they live in dry Savannah areas. However, a forest dwelling lovebird, known as Black-Collared Lovebird, is an exception.

Since lovebirds are from very harsh environment, therefore they are most suitable to be kept in captivity. They have a good temperament as well as they are very hardy and easy to care for.

In the wild, these birds live in flocks, and often bond with a partner for life and exhibit fierce loyalty and affection to their family. In captivity, they are very social with both their owners and their partner. However, if you need to own a single lovebird, then you need to give a lot of attention and affection to it.

Lovebirds are small thickset parrots usually between 13cm to 17cm (5.1 to 6.7 inches). They have a large bill and a round or square tail. They can live up to 20 years.

Since lovebirds vary greatly in their coloring, therefore the different species of lovebirds are identified by their color and markings. Although younger birds have dull colors and have black in their beaks, however, their coloring intensifies as they reach maturity. Irrespective of the species, mature lovebirds are magnificent parrots.

Lovebirds that are most commonly available as pets are belonged to three species, which are the Peach-faced Lovebirds, the Masked Lovebirds, and the Fischer’s Lovebirds. All of these make wonderful pets. These birds, especially Peach-faced Lovebirds, can be bred in many different combinations of mutations. Hence, lovebirds are available in many new colors. Some of the most common lovebirds and lovebird mutations are named as:

  • Albino Lovebird
  • Abyssinian Lovebird
  • Lutino Lovebird
  • Black Masked Lovebird
  • Dutch Blue Lovebird
  • Peach-faced Lovebird
  • Blue Masked Lovebird
  • Fischer’s Lovebird

All of these lovebirds are wonderful as pets, and are easily available from the pet store and bird breeders.

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Amazon Parrots as Pets

The Amazon parrots are one of the most beautiful parrots in the world. Their inhabitant areas range from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean, where they feed mostly on fruits and nuts.

There is a large number of species of Amazon parrots. Double yellow headed amazons, blue fronted amazons, green cheeked amazons, lilac crowned amazons, yellow fronted amazons, orange winged amazons, and yellow naped amazons are some of the most common species that are seen in the pet trade.

The length of Amazon parrots can range anywhere from 10 to 20 inches, whereas the life expectancy of a healthy Amazon parrot is around 50 years or more with good diet and care.

When it comes to the temperament of Amazon parrots, they are very intelligent and playful birds, and love to be the center of attention. They are also curious athletic, and enjoy entertaining their owners with clownish antics. Therefore, their owners need to give them lots of affection and time on daily basis. This is important because these magnificent birds are also considered a bit temperamental and can become quite hostile if not trained and handled properly from a younger age.

Generally, many Amazon parrots have speech ability and are good talkers; however a few species, including blue fronted, yellow napped, double yellow headed and other parrots are more likely to talk than others. Remember that there may be individual differences, even among species known for speech. Therefore never buy an Amazon parrot or any other parrot with the expectation that it would talk. However, as far as other vocalizations are concerned, these parrots can be quite noisy. They are also good screamers, but not as loud as cockatoos or macaws.

If you want to buy an Amazon parrot as your pet, then you will need to have the minimum cage size of 24”x 36”x 48” with bar spacing of ¾ to 1 inch. However, larger is always better.

The diet of Amazon parrots should be 25 to 50 percent pellet based, with the combination of a variety of healthy fresh foods. Since seeds can make these parrots fat, therefore they can be fed as treats. However, ensure that seeds do not make over 10 percent of the whole diet. You can also give nuts to them as a treat, however in moderation.

Since Amazon parrots are very playful, they need lots of sturdy toys. They really enjoy having toys that they can easily manipulate with their feet. You need to select appropriate and safe toys for your Amazons.

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